Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


On the Impact of Overparameterization on the Training of a Shallow Neural Network in High Dimensions

Simon Martin · Francis Bach · Giulio Biroli

MR1 & MR2 - Number 34
[ ]
Sat 4 May 6 a.m. PDT — 8:30 a.m. PDT


We study the training dynamics of a shallow neural network with quadratic activation functions and quadratic cost in a teacher-student setup. In line with previous works on the same neural architecture, the optimization is performed following the gradient flow on the population risk, where the average over data points is replaced by the expectation over their distribution, assumed to be Gaussian. We first derive convergence properties for the gradient flow and quantify the overparameterization that is necessary to achieve a strong signal recovery. Then, assuming that the teachers and the students at initialization form independent orthonormal families, we derive a high-dimensional limit for the flow and show that the minimal overparameterization is sufficient for strong recovery. We verify by numerical experiments that these results hold for more general initializations.

Live content is unavailable. Log in and register to view live content